Sunday, August 23, 2015

PHOTO FEATURE: ChiiL Mama's Adventures at Bristol Renaissance Faire 2015 #ChiILPicksList

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List

Bristol Renaissance Faire has been a favorite of ours for decades. It's a short, hour(ish) drive north of Chicago near the border of Wisconsin and back in time. This family friendly fav is great for all ages. The shows, shopping, food, and lhuman powered rides are a blast and it's some of the best annual people watching around. We're not the only ones who think so either. Bristol Renaissance Faire has been voted THE #1 Renaissance Faire in the whole country 4 years running!

Disclosure: Thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for comping us tickets once again this year for review purposes. As always, all opinions, adventures and photos are our own.

Kids rule at Bristol Ren Faire! NEW Redo For 2015:
Huzzah! The Kids' Area has been expanded and redecorated in a whimsical, wonderful way! 

We adore the Hobbit houses and the enhanced stage, ships and mini slide. There is a small bathroom in the area for easy access with the littles. The backdrops rock with a kraken and dragons for the brave and cute fairies and forest creatures for the littles. It's a site to see. Highly recommended!

What to Wear to The Faire?! 
We adore dressing up, and at this fest imagination knows no boundaries. Expect to see authentic full on Renaissance wear as well as an homage to an impressive array of pop culture favs like Dr. Who and Harry Potter. The cosplay kids are out in fantasy garb and Bristol Ren Fair has even added an official steampunk weekend, though any day's a great day to rock the steampunk look in our book. 

Photo Credit Dugan Kenaz-Mara

Photo Credit Dugan Kenaz-Mara

Embrace your inner knight, dragon or garden gnome. Come in a kilt or your favorite 2015 era t-shirt and shorts. Anything goes as long as it's fairly family friendly and you zip tie any actual weapons you're bringing as props.

Photo Credit Dugan Kenaz-Mara

Favorites will also be embedded below. Photos by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara AKA: ChiIL Mama unless otherwise noted.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Each weekend features rotating smaller acts so we try to catch the new ones. The major players remain the same and are always a treat to see again, like The Swordsmen, Gypsy Geoff, Adam Crack: Fire Whip, Barely Balanced, The Jousting, MooNie the Magnif'Cent and more.

Foodie Fun:

It's not truly a Ren Faire weekend without conquering the "Mile High Chocolate Crepe". Highly recommended! We also dig the Giant Brats, Butterfly Potatoes and Pickle or Cheesecake on a stick. 


When the kids were younger, we did the Kids Quest for $5 a kid (ages 4-10), which is super fun for families. Opening day, my 14yo son, Dugan and I tried our hand at the adult (& kids 12+) version of RenQuest which is $10 a day to play. The game takes approximately 2 hours and it's recommended you play early. Sign up closes at 2pm each day. The role playing and plot were quite fun, and the family's returning to play the next part of the story today. Everyone gets to chose a path and a name. I was a bard (go figure-story teller) named Dragonfly and Dugan was a mage (magician) who wants his name to remain secret. We loved it and will make a point of joining Renquest again. 

Do note, you will work HARD to figure this out and it takes a solid 2 hours or more. It's more fun if you play the same character type with at least 1 friend or family member. The Renquest plot line is complicated and you'll have to solve lots of riddles and puzzles, talk to a zillion characters, and embrace your role playing personae. Only half of the people who started with us the first day made it to the final scene! If that's not your cup of tea, then skip it for another kind of fun.

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips: 

Modern Plumbing/Renaissance Charm:
No need to pee in a ditch or bring thine own chamber pot. There are now two sets of flush toilets supplemented by porta potties throughout the grounds. If you're in costume, the modern plumbing is a huge help! Flush toilets are now to the left of the main entrance and straight back from the action stage.

Don't Fear the Faire:
We've run into more than a few people over the years who have NEVER been to Bristol Ren Faire because they thought costumes were mandatory, or felt it "wasn't their scene". Bristol Renaissance Faire is one of the most welcoming places and you can be a spectator in street clothes or play along to your heart's delight in historically accurate glory, or anything in between. If you've never been, we challenge YOU to check it out. We're willing to bet you'll have an excellent time.

We highly recommend Bristol Renaissance Faire. Check out their main site HERE to purchase tickets, and get a discount by signing up for their mailing list. Walgreens also has discount coupons. More faire details, special themes and rotating acts are listed on their site. Bristol Renaissance Faire 2015 runs from July 11th-September 7th. 

Check back with ChiIL Mama early and often. We hope to head back to merry olde England via Bristol Renaissance Faire at least a time or two more in 2015 before they close on Labor Day Monday, and we'll have more photo recaps to share. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Bristol Renaissance Faire for comping us tickets once again this year for review purposes. As always, all opinions, adventures and photos are our own.

Photo Favs:
ChiIL Mama's 14yo son, Dugan on opening day.

Never seen THAT before: 

Giant, full arm puppets!

(Photo Credits Dugan Kenaz-Mara, 14)

Deante' Fettuccine The Pasta Juggler-Father/Daughter Duo:

Gypsy Geoff: 

Hey Nunnie Nunnie:
quite pun filled & aimed at adults

Huzzah for Ren Faire Regulars:

Adam Crack: Fire Whip 

Lady Ettie 

All the Great People Who Run the Games of Skill & Human Powered Rides 

Barely Balanced

Fairies in the Garden 

Strolling Minstrels and Costumed Characters 

Seen On The Scene:

NEW Redesign for the Kids' Area:
We love this special space for the littles! Truly magical.


NEW Circle of Themed Thrones--Perfect for Pictures: 

The Joust:

Danse Macabre-The Dark Side of Ren Faire:

A Few of Our Favorite Vendors:

Gemini Glass
Run by Chicago Theatre Friends of Ours 

Hair Twisters:

ChiIL Mama's ChiILin' out just north of Chi, IL with a brand new twist on my usual pony tail or braid with a dragonfly charm! Dugan got an amazing dragon head there, too. The ribbon braid we each got for completing part 1 of Renquest.

Miss the tie-dyed roses at the first night of the final Grateful Dead Shows? You can find them at Bristol Renaissance Faire! Dry it as a lasting memento.

Till Next Time:

Fare thee well!

No comments:

Post a Comment